Janie Fricke Defends Kirt Webster: ‘Kirt Is Just a Good Person’
Country singer Janie Fricke -- a former Webster PR client -- has stepped up to defend Kirt Webster in light of the sexual harassment and assault allegations recently made against him. The artist tells a Nashville news station that the high-profile public relations executive "has a good heart."
"He’s worked so hard to gain the notoriety that he’s gained," Fricke tells WSMV-TV. “He had a respect for artists from my era, from my time. Kirt is just a good person.”
The allegations against Webster were first brought up by former country singer Austin Rick, who claims that Webster acted inappropriately and sexually assaulted him numerous times between 2007 and 2008 while he was trying to pursue a career in music. Numerous others -- another former artist as well as former Webster PR employees -- have also stepped forward with their own claims; one ex-employee says that some of the alleged victims were paid to keep quiet. Although Rick cannot press criminal charges due to a statute of limitations, others who have made allegations could, and he could still file a civil lawsuit.
"If they want to try to get some money or cause a lawsuit or get paid in a settlement, they’ll make up anything they want to," Fricke says. "There’s no witnesses. No one was there.”
Throughout his time in PR, Webster and Webster PR represented some of the biggest names in country music, including Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr. and the Oak Ridge Boys. Webster has stepped away from the company, which has re-branded as Westby PR, but numerous clients have also severed ties with the firm.
Fricke is best known for her hit duets with Johnny Duncan, including "Stranger" and "Thinkin' of a Rendezvous," as well as solo hits such as "Down to My Last Broken Heart," "Tell Me a Lie" and "He's a Heartache."